The paper discusses a number of key conceptual issues related to the role of energy in development and its potential synergies and tradeoffs with climate change. The relationship between economic development and energy over time is discussed and illustrated by data from China, India and South Africa, and some other countries. It concludes that energy plays an important role as a productivity enhancing factor in economic development and in human well being. Several policy goals related to sustainable development, energy, and climate can be integrated. However, meeting all these policy goals requires a special effort and has significant cost implications.